Peruvian Food Recipe: How to make Cau cau?

If you are looking for traditional Peruvian food with great taste, Cau cau is the perfect recipe for you. Cau cau is a dish made with beef tripe and characterized by its vibrant yellow color and great herbal fragrance. It is a food recipe that will give color to your dining table.

The Cau cau’s yellow color is achieved thanks to the spices like palillo, one Peruvian spice made out of curcuma root that will color your dish with a strong yellow color. For the color in this Peruvian recipe, it is also used the ají Amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow pepper) that brings a great taste to the stew and also gives a great yellow natural color. The name “Cau Cau” is believed to come from the Quechua language “Can” which means small, referring to the small cubes used for this Peruvian recipe.

The Cau cau recipe may be modified depending on the tastes, for example you may change the beef tripe for chicken if you do not like that part of the beef.  For this it is recommended to boil the chicken, and then cut it in small cubes, then, the steps are the same for the rest of the recipe.

Here we recommend to eating it with rice that is the classic accompaniment, but it can be changed into other options according to your tastes, such as French fries, salads and boiled vegetables. Keep reading if you want to know how to make this colorful and healthy Peruvian food.

Ingredients (5 portions)

  • 1 cup of onion chopped into small cubes
  • ½ cup of carrot chopped into small cubes
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoon of ají amarillo paste
  • 1 tablespoon of palillo
  • 18 oz. of beef tripe cut in medium cubes
  • 18 oz. of beef leg cut in medium cubes
  • 54 oz. of potatoes chopped into medium cubes  (Yellow potatoes are better for this recipe)
  • ½ cup of green beans
  • ½ cup of Peppermint chopped really small
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • Oil as needed
  • Salt, pepper and cumin to taste


  1. On a pot with 6 cups of water, cook the beef legs cubes for 2 hours on low heat and with the pot covered. Add a bit of salt and one teaspoon of garlic paste. Once cooked, separate the broth from the beef legs and set aside.
  2. On another pot, heat up the oil on medium heat and sauté the onion, the ají Amarillo paste, and the palillo for a couple of minutes
  3. When the onion looks transparent, add the beef tripe and the beef legs to the pot preparation. Cook for around 10 minutes and add salt, pepper, and cumin to the taste.
  4. Add the potatoes, carrot and green beans to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir everything together.
  5. Add the peppermint to the preparation and rectify the taste with salt, pepper, and cumin.
  6. Now it’s ready. Let it cool down a bit and serve it with rice.

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